Author: Eva Ibbotson
My rating: 4 of 5
Twelve-year-old Alex MacBuff is a proper Scottish laird with his own castle, complete with resident ghosts. Which is all well and good, except that he has no funds to maintain said castle. Rather that watching it fall to pieces around him, Alex makes the difficult decision to sell the castle to a Texan millionaire–who wants to ship it across the Atlantic in pieces and rebuild it in Texas! Unfortunately, this leaves Alex with another problem–the Texan clearly specified that he would have no ghosts in his castle, and now Alex has to find someplace to relocate his childhood friends.
As with most of Ibboston’s books, it’s difficult to explain the appeal of The Haunting of Granite Falls, even to myself. The characters are so nice that they really ought to be disgusting (like Little Lord Fauntleroy or Elsie Dinsmore), yet they are impossible to dislike. Similarly, despite containing some interesting twists, the plotline has a distinct inevitability, a certainty that “good will prevail” and all that. Yet Ibbotson somehow transforms what would usually be an insipid plotline into one that is comforting, rather. Actually, that is the one word that I feel best describes Ibbotson’s work: comfortable. This is the sort of book that I would recommend reading on a rainy day while savoring a good cup of hot English tea.